Former players, peers honor local high school football coaching legend Al Rinaldi

The former Highland Springs, J.R. Tucker football coach passed away last week at the age of 90

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – On Sunday night, Central Virginia bid a fond farewell to legendary high school football coach Al Rinaldi, best known for the work he did at Highland Springs High School, with some of the school’s greatest former players stopping by to pay their respects to a local legend.

“Coach Rinaldi and Highland Springs football for the time that he coached here will never be forgotten. “The legacy that he’s left behind will live on forever.” — former player Greg Taylor

5BBC6D525FE94982813ABAD831715C5ARinaldi passed away last Wednesday at 90-years-old.

“This was one of coach Rinaldi’s wishes, that we bring all his boys back,” explained Joe Ellison, a former player for Rinaldi.

It was an emotional service, with more than 100 former football players gathering to remember Rinaldi.

“My first experience with coach Rinaldi, I was like in the sixth or seventh grade and I guess he came here in 1954,” said one former player.

Rinaldi coached Highland Springs to their first ever state championship in 1961.

Former T.C. Williams Head Coach Herman Boone, the man who inspired the movie “Remember the Titans,” was the speaker for Rinaldi’s memorial service.

Rinaldi also led the Springers to a state title game in the 70s and coached at J.R. Tucker High School until his retirement in 1982.

0E5A4CE04EC642B6B4B4239137F22A57He would go on to become a broadcaster with WRNL Sports Radio 910, doing color commentary for Friday night games with Gary Hess from the 1990s into the 2000s.

Rinaldi’s former players are proud to be a part of his legacy.EE6F580D8A3741E3B860C38631B2E928

“Coach Rinaldi and Highland Springs football for the time that he coached here will never be forgotten,” explained former player Greg Taylor. “The legacy that he’s left behind will live on forever.”

Rinaldi, a member of the University of Richmond Sports Hall of Fame, was also aWorld War II veteran.

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